Located on the banks of river Godavari, Nashik is a beautiful city and is popular as a pilgrimage centre amongst Hindus, and hence it is also sometimes referred to as the spiritual capital of Maharashtra. But Nashik is equally popular amongst tourists for its historical places. Ranging from age-old temples to centuries-old monuments, you can find hundreds of ancient places within its boundaries. Some are popular all over the state and numerous are famous only in their respective regions.
One such historic site, which, despite harbouring natural as well as historical marvels, is only popular amongst locals is Ankai Fort. Even though it has gained popularity amongst offbeat travellers, it still needs to be explored on account of its beautiful surroundings and interesting history. Scroll down to learn more about Ankai Fort and how to reach it.
Best Time To Visit Ankai Fort
As the region in and around Ankai Fort experiences an extreme type of climate, it is a less preferred destination during the summer season. The best time to visit the fort is from October until the end of February. During this period, the weather is cool and pleasant, thereby, letting you explore its beauty conveniently.
The History And Surroundings Of Ankai Fort
Ankai Fort is nestled wonderfully in the Satmala Hills at an elevation of more than 3000 feet in the vicinity of a small town named Manmad. It is a stone fort which is said to have been established thousands of years ago when the region was under the control of the Yadava dynasty.
However, later on, it was captured by several other dynasties such as the Mughals and the Marathas, until it became a stronghold of the British Empire in the early 19th century. Today, the fort is lying in ruins and has become a trekking destination for locals and offbeat travellers. To reach the top of the fort, one needs to trek from the village of Ankai for half an hour.
Places To Visit In And Around Ankai Fort
Even though the fort is in ruins today, there is a lot to explore within its boundaries. From caves to temples and holy ponds to ruined palaces, you can find numerous tourist attractions here. The Jain caves are the most popular spots here which are frequented by history lovers too. The caves house several idols of Lord Mahavir and are adorned with beautiful carvings.
Other places which might interest you include Kashi Pond, which has a holy Tulsi pot in the centre, the ruined structure of the palace and Brahmani Caves, where you can spot the idols of Jay and Vijay, the gatekeepers of Lord Vishnu.
Why You Should Visit Ankai Fort
Apart from trekking, you can indulge in exploring the history of the fort and photographing the ruined structure of the fort. From the top of the fort, you can also frame the panoramic beauty of the surrounding villages. If you are looking for a place away from the city noise and pollution amidst calmness, then you must plan a trip to Ankai Fort. It is a perfect place to savour history, nature and spirituality.
How To Reach Ankai Fort
By Air: The nearest airport to Ankai Fort is located in Aurangabad at a distance of about 122 km. From the airport, you can either hire a direct cab to the fort or catch a bus to Manmad and then from there, a cab to the fort. The distance between Manmad and the fort is about 8 km.
By Rail: Manmad is well connected to all other cities and towns by rail, and hence you can catch a direct train to Manmad Junction and then from there, a cab to Ankai Fort.
By Road: Being a hill fort, you need to trek up the hill to reach the fort. However, the base of the fort has a good road connectivity, and therefore it is easily accessible by road.